TerraScan Display Modes

TerraScan provides users with many different methods of visualizing their point cloud data. These modes are based upon one or more attributes of the point data and each have their own uses. Some examples are herein provided. The Display Mode dialog (TerraScan -> View -> Display Mode) is how you access the current various modes. Recently added modes are only in the CONNECT edition (CE) module. Display modes may also be set for desired views using the available TerraScan key-in command “Scan Display” and its accepted parameters. Click on the example images below to enlarge them.

Display Mode

Description Uses Example
Class Displays the points according to their class attribute defined by the Define Classes tool.
  • Visualizing features
  • Reviewing classification
Class + Intensity (CE) Combines class and intensity coloring. The color value is determined by the RGB values assigned to the class, while the brightness of the color indicates the intensity of the return.
  • Provides contextual reference while visualizing classification
  • Visualize wall features in mobile datasets without imagery
Color Displays the points according to their RGB values. this requires that color has been extracted from imagery or the points were originally derived via photogrammetric methods (DIM)
  • Creating familiar view
  • 3D Image
  • Creating visualizations
Color + Intensity (CE) Combines Color and Intensity coloring. The color value is determined by the RGB values of the points while the brightness of the color indicates the intensity value.
  • Adjusts brightness in color  to form shadows for better mobile scenes
 
Dimension Displays points according to their dimension attribute. The dimension of a point is computed together with its Normal Vector.
  • Visualizing planarity, linearity, or complexity of points and point groupings
Distance Displays points based on the distance attribute. This requires that a distance values has been computed for points using the Compute Distance command.
  • Visualize above ground features by height above ground when distance computed from a ground surface
  • Visualize points by distance from a feature when distance computed from an element (i.e. encroachments)
  • Visualize distance to line average Z for performing interline swath analysis (i.e. calibration)
  • Change detection coloring when distance computed from Closest Line 3D (i.e. Tunnel monitoring)
Echo Displays the points according to their return type: Only, First of many, Intermediate, and Last of many.
  • Review vegetated areas
  • Identify buildings
Echo Length Displays points according to the length of the return pulse.  The value is relative to a typical return pulse length on a hard surface. The echo length has to be extracted from waveform information.
  • Identify returns from vegetation
Elevation Displays the points according to their elevation value.  A color scheme is applied where each color represents a certain range of elevation values.
  • Visually conducting terrain analysis
Group Displays points according to their group number.  this requires that a group number has been assigned to points using the Assign Groups tool.
  • Checking the point grouping in preparation for group classification
  • Reviewing assigned groups when reviewing best match results
Group + Intensity (CE) Combines Group and Intensity coloring.  The color value is determined by the group while the brightness of the color indicates the intensity value.
  • Providing a contextual reference for checking the assigned point groupings
Image Assignment Displays points according to their image number. This requires that an image number has been assigned to points. This can be achieved by extracting color from images.
  • Visually identify from which image points are being assigned color for point color assignment (adjusting seamlines for point cloud coloring)
 
Intensity Auto Displays the points according to their intensity value. Intensity Auto uses a more homogeneous gray-scale coloring scheme. The intensity values are fitted to the gray values of the coloring scheme in a way that each gray value gets a similar number of points. This results in a smoother intensity display, especially if intensity values are not normally distributed.
  • Contextual perspective
Intensity Custom (CE) Displays the points according to their intensity value. Intensity Custom uses the full MicroStation color table. Allows for user selectable colors and ranges.
  • Contextual perspective
  • Highlighting of desired features
Flightline Displays the points according to their flightline number (Point Source ID).
  • Distinguishing source relationship of points collected (i.e. Flight/Drive lines)
  • Review overlap
Line + Intensity Combines flightline and intensity coloring. The color value is determined by the flightline while the brightness of the color indicates the intensity value.
  • Adds contextual reference to the flightline view
Normal + Intensity (CE) Combines Slope and Intensity coloring. The color value is determined by the normal vector while the brightness of the color indicates the intensity value.
  • Viewing the slope aspect of the data with some perspective
  • Understanding the structure of building roofs
  • Understanding side slopes of roads
Scanner Displays the points according to their scanner number.
  • Distinguishing between points collected by different scanners of a multi-scanner/channel system
 
Shading Displays a triangulated surface of the points colored by class and shaded by triangle slope.
  • Hillshade review of point classifications (i.e. ground for DEM)
Slope Displays points according to their normal vector.  This requires the computation of Normal Vectors.
  • Visual slope analysis
  • Understanding rutting of roads
Vegetation Index Displays points using Normalized Difference Vegetation Index. This requires four channel color information.
  • Visual normalized difference vegetation index

 

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